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It’s In Gase We Trust Or Bust Time… Again!

It’s In Gase We Trust Or Bust Time… Again!

Adam Gase is the foundation for this regime, but is it a solid foundation?

Adam Gase is the foundation of this regime. Success IS, and WILL BE, all about his skill level

Offense this bad isn’t just about lack of talent

The 2017 Season has been a whipsaw of extenuating circumstances, unexpectedly poor offensive play, and surprise rebounds.

As far as the ridiculous drama goes, it’s created extra adversity that has had a negative effect on the team from personnel, to staff, to focus. Beginning with Laremy Tunsil’s mysterious personal issues that forced him to miss much of camp and Preseason, a season changing storm, to a crack-head, high-priced position coach, to now all the talk of Suh‘s strangle and Kiko’s knockout: Outside factors have been incessant.

Not one opposing team is crying for the Fin’s hardships, and no excuse will gain them an inch on the field.

So a winning mentality would be suck it up with as smile.

We all know the deal by now, everything wrong internal and external came to a head against the Ravens in a very, very ugly way.

But now, with the blowout in Baltimore in the books, and just over a week before a big home game verse a tough opponent in the Raiders, Adam Gase has a chance to stop, assess, and hopefully fix one of the worst offenses witnessed in Miami in a long time.

The key word is hope.

This is what Gase was brought here to do. And this is likely the last chance he’ll get this season, given every week from now on will be a game-prep week without time, for true reflection.

Gase: 2017 sinks or swims over the next 2 weeks based on his acumen

So with one shot to hit the mark, is this team doomed and Gase destined for the ‘hotseat’? Or can Gase figure out the right combination of players, scheme, and play calls to unlock this offenses potential and rebound like he did in 2016?

No one will know for sure until next Sunday, but what Gase does starting Wednesday, when they begin to prepare, will give us some hints.

Personally, after studying film rabidly for weeks now, I say there’s a fair chance they get this “O” in gear. Much of the issues relating to the offenses failure has been X’s and O’s and issues on the mental side of the game… not a lack of talent to get it done. Although, it doesn’t take pay per head software to figure out more talent in the future would be groovy too.

But it’s put up or shut time in a big, big way.

Unfortunately, some of the aspects that must change aren’t within Gase’s power to fix. Some of these crucial aspects must come from a few key players making the decision to be professionals and make the plays they are paid handsomely  to make.

Gase has stated in his most recent rant on the terrible state of the offense that some of the players are making mistakes because they aren’t studying the playbook at home, and instead using the team meeting as their primary source of study.

If this is true, whoever they are should be let loose in the Offseason, unless serious change is made on their part. At this stage of the team build, this behavior is unacceptable. This isn’t even remotely the level of work ethic you want on your team.

Coaching sets the table, so far the table has been a mess

As for those who are studying but still screwing up, they must have their roles reduced, whoever they are. Understandably, Gase is working with a limited pool of talent in some areas, so this is a very difficult tight-wire act on his part.

Now, since I’m blowing all this smoke about 2017 not being doomed for certain, and it’s not all about talent,  what went / is wrong with this Offense then? Besides a critique about Gase’s scheme choices, here you go:


1: Offense is often put in a hole by the return teams.  In 2016, Special Team Return Units were an asset. In 2017, returns have been a detriment. Grant and the blocking in the return game are terrible. Grant still bobbles the ball and spends too much time running lateral and making poor return decisions. Grant isn’t popping any, so kneeing in the End Zone and starting on the 25 instead of the 15 would be a great start towards fixing the Offense. Next step after replacing the blockers might be replacing Grant’s

2: Offensive Line gets a lot of grief, and it should. But it’s the Tackles, and not the interior OL, has carried the lion’s share of the problems. Tunsil seems down throttled and is getting beat outside and inside. From the start of the season and his ‘personal issues’, he has had a very rocky start for someone so much was expected. So far, he’s been an anchor alright, one that’s wrapped around the offenses neck, dragging them down with penalties and inconsistent play. At least for this game you can add an “**” to his play  due to his knee injury. James on the other hand has shown for two years now, he has a very hard time handling rushers with high-end, bull-rush skills. He gets victimized a few times a game. Given both T’s level of responsibilities and pedigree, they are outpacing the interior OL in number of plays that fail the offense.

OL is the most crucial unit on the offense

On the interior, Anthony Steen could be done for the season with a 5 hour foot surgery. I like Jesse Davis, and he acquitted himself well with a PFF grade of 80.2 allowing only 1 pressure Thursday. But even when Ted Larsen returns they are now thin at Guard. But maybe a Larsen and Davis combo might be an upgrade.

Mike Pouncey can’t handle strength. Gase needs to say it slow and own it. So asking him to go one-on-one with power players is asking for trouble. They must scheme their runs better with this in mid. Pouncey is still a Top 3 Center in pass block, bottom of the league in run block. Either scheme better, or move to a more pass oriented style. Gase needs to stop throwing downs away.

3: Speaking of Gase, he loves to run from WR Bunches and 3 Wides, but Stills, Landry, Grant, and so far Carroo can’t block. Landry had several critical flops at his blocking assignments this week that cost the offense… one cost big time. Also, Gase has 3 TE’s and only one can block well. Gase has to deal in the reality of this and plan accordingly.

Thomas had buyer beware all over his purchase, but Gase still paid

4: Julius Thomas is all but a complete waste of 6 million. Gase fully owns this, and no matter how much he force feeds Thomas, he’ll still suck. The more Thomas is jammed into this offense, the more damage he does. He can’t block and nearly every catch he makes it’s an open / routine play. So what the hell is he really contributing compared to his screw ups? Also, he can’t move on the run, has zero wiggle, and is slow.  Fasano must be the starter going forward with even less snap for Thomas in coming games.

Miami needs another TE, even if he can just block adequately it would be an upgrade. They either need to pull one from a hat, or they will struggle all year in 3 TE sets, which has showed promise. And in a worst case scenario, it would be disaster if Anthony Fasano should get hurt. Dion Sims was guaranteed 4 million more, and so far, this season he has less than half the targets of Thomas with 50 yards less, 1 more TD, and is able to block petty well. Imagine the possibilities with him and Fasano with Gray.

5: Gase must understand his players strengths and weaknesses. This Offensive Line can be productive enough with the talented skills the Fins have. But no matter how much you want them to, or keep making the calls, they won’t consistently beat loaded boxes, especially with shaky TE and WR run blocking, and shaky RB pass blocking to pick up the blitz (4 of 16 sacks come from RB’s screwing up). Something has to give somewhere. I’d say a read through of the Art of War would be great move for Gase in his spare time.

6: Gase again, when a play fails over and over, game after game, Gase needs to shelve / limit it, and certainly not call it in crucial situations (I.E. screens to Landry, 10 Inside Draws a game, Zone Stretch to the short side of the field with a “D” shifted and playing wide, ect).

7: The Dolphins Receivers are struggling to get open, for whatever reason. Jarvis Landry is one of my favorite players, but it’s looking more and more like he’s a pretty good boundary WR, and only special in the slot. He doesn’t appear as focused and consistent as prior years. DeVante Parker has all the talent in the world, but again this season, his great consistency is that he’s injured and inconsistent in his production. Stills can’t block, but has contributed roughly close to his pay. Carroo made some advances and Grant doesn’t flash. Less one read options and better route combinations might be in order.

8: Gase said this as well: Jay Ajayi seems to be trying to hit the home run alittle too often. In his defense, the guy is facing stacked boxes with the deck stacked of poor calls and a group of blockers not suited for beating a defense into submission. But over time chipping away might prove to offer a few yards here or there that leads to an easier 1st down and a trickle effect may take over. Maybe.

This was a long one, but I’d rather be explicit and called wrong, than labeled a fanatic spouting from too much aqua flavored Kool Aid. The next article will break down every negative play of the 1st half of the Ravens game to support the points above. Over engineering? Maybe, but you can’t fault my lack of trying. Go Fins!!!





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  • Steve

    I’m certain Gase will get his team online. But let us jump to the end of the season! Black Monday Gase has to snatched/demand quickly a coach like Todd Bowles Jets to run the Dolphins Defense. Penn State offensive Coordinator Joe Moorehead I would bring him Aboard to run the Dolphins offense. Then Gase can be head coach.

    Fangio bears D coach Another good candidate coaches the Bears defense.

    Bottom line we need the best offensive and defensive coach.

    What we have now is killing Gase.

  • steve

    Issue the Miami Dolphins never address 100% is their Offensive Line. Letting Albert go In my view was a big mistake. His mentor ship and leadership on the Line is missed So, I know he had injuries but you must have leadership on the field. Who is the leader on that Offensive line?

    Next These are said to be the BEST offensive line coaches in the NFL.

    Pittsburgh Steelers – They are big, physical and more athletic than you would think. They block in space, they have a great feel for blocking angles, and they open holes for the most patient back in the NFL

    Dallas Cowboys – They are the most talented line in the NFL. The Cowboys established elite production up front by drafting guys high and letting them grow and improve.

    Oakland Raiders – They are the most physical offensive line in the NFL and they look a lot like what we see in Dallas under Scott Linehan, who is Oakland coordinator Todd Downing’s mentor.

    Tennessee Titans – They are solid inside but not well-known, but when you get to tackles Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin, they really shine. And they even have solid depth behind the starters.

    New England Patriots – This is not the most talented group in the NFL, but they have an elite coach in Dante Scarnecchia, they function as the ultimate team unit, they play smart with limited mistakes, and in 2016 they stayed healthy.

    • admin

      I agree on everything except that it’s a 100% he lines fault. I know I am in the minority… I get that, and I’m okay with it. I’m putting out an article later to on every negative play in the 1st half and the OL does play a part, but it isn’t the primary reason. But you can take another look to see if my take holds water or not. I do agree though that Albert is missed for his leadership, because Tunsil has been tepid at best. Due to the key nature of his position and his pedigree, he has been the biggest issue of the OL. But going over the film Landry missed 3 key blocks,one that would have given Ajayi his biggest play of the season. Also, Landry looks not like Landry when he isn’t getting a pass thrown his way. That’s not to mention Moore having presnap and post snap tunnel vision or the backs no being able to pass protect and misses reads in the run game. Anyway, I’ll relent or be proven right over the next two weeks. Gase has time to reflect and it the ball it totally in his court.

  • Lemmus

    …Gase is the problem …he’s the HC …but it’s not his play calling that is at fault, it’s his player selection

    …in particular, the OL …he hasn’t a clue …how anyone could watch that Ravens game and come away thinking it wasn’t the OL is simply beyond me …not going to waste my breath here, just watch the game with an open mind …stop 2nd guessing Gase’s calls and start counting how many times they were in our backfield before his call ever had time to develop …NOTHING, absolutely nothing will change until THAT is fixed …and its Gase’s #1 job to fix it …and I simply don’t think he can now …it’s too late

    …that aside, I’m finally pulling the plug on the NFL for good until such time as they completely stop the bs, fire Goodell, and enforce the rules among ALL the players across the board …I’m sure I alone won’t be missed …but I’m not alone in this …and WE will be missed

    • admin

      “not going to waste my breath here, just watch the game with an open mind …stop 2nd guessing Gase’s calls and start counting how many times they were in our backfield before his call ever had time to develop”
      Well, I wasted 8 hrs documenting every negative snap… might be a little more than you :). So if you want you can look at each play through multiple shot & video… with an open mind–or not. It’s not always the OL Lemmus, just as it’s not always everything else but the line.

      “I’m finally pulling the plug on the NFL for good until such time as they completely stop the bs, fire Goodell, and enforce the rules among ALL the players across the board …I’m sure I alone won’t be missed …but I’m not alone in this …and WE will be missed”
      I totally get it. The Texan owner thing is even more ridiculous. But I do hope you stop in on Phins now and then, because you certainly will be missed here… 100%.

  • Samson

    I still think Gase needs to stop calling plays. Maybe if you let the OC do his job it will allow you to get a better look at the whole team. If Ajayi is trying to hit the hr to often then play Drake more. Maybe a different style will help. The one thing that kills me with Gase is he doesn’t own his mistakes. He says the right things but what’s that saying? Actions speak… Anyway the screens are driving me crazy…
    I don’t know what is wrong with Landry… Figured a contract year he would be at the top of his game… All the mental mistakes are on Gase… Bad game plans are on Gase… Playing the wrong personnel is on Gase… I was a big fan of his when we hired him and all of last season… But I’ve had my doubts the last few weeks and he isn’t doing anything to change my mind… I hope he does starting this week… I know he is capable he just has to admit his mistakes and realize his players strengths… Bills and pats won again so we are running out of time to fix it and a very tough schedule to do it against

    • admin

      ” The one thing that kills me with Gase is he doesn’t own his mistakes.” Next two weeks will determine this in my mind, Samson.

      “I don’t know what is wrong with Landry” If he’s not getting the ball he ain’t into it. Totally changing my opinion of him.

      “Bad game plans are on Gase… Playing the wrong personnel is on Gase.” Thomas is killing him and without a third option he’s stuck with him. Glad to see he has demoted him… needs to demote him more, but then you run the risk of burning out Fasano… then we are screwed. I have been very critical on Gase’s calls an schemeing. But if Landry and Ajayi are holding back the playbook that adds massive amount of context… not a free pass, but context.

      2 games to reinforce or rethink my opinion on everything… a disaster like this week the next two weeks and then Freak will be right. But something in my gut tells me they go 1-1. Raiders are a bit in free fall and sloppy. If we get turnovers then Miami could get off on the right foot. But given the state of affairs, Miami might be in free fall too… but that is on Gase. HUGE, HUGE week. I’d say given Gase’s history, reserve judgement over the next two weeks. But that’s just my opinion, Samson.

  • Phinfreak

    LMFAO. You’re really afraid to pull the trigger on Gase. You danced around it for 42 paragraphs but you just can’t come out and stare it plainly so I will.

    This is Gase’s fault. His offense. His players ( Julius Thomas, Cutler etc).

    Gases play calling is high school level.

    His team is inconsistent and his staff is out coached time and again.

    Gase is lucky to be 4-3… and slipping.

    Playoffs?!?!? LMFAO.

    • Phinfreak

      Oh I forgot.
      Even Gase admits he doesn’t know what’s wrong so nobody here will either….xept me of course.

      Seat getting warmer every day.

    • admin

      The people who can’t see nuance speak in broad strokes. With your logic a first time head coach is the same as an experienced one. With your logic, you would have been calling Belichick a bum and screaming this guy will never be a good HC, when he was with the Browns. Danced?! Sometimes a unit fails due to a single player or coach. More often than not there are many factors. In this case there are many factors. Any reader here, but you, realizes I have written verbosely on Gase’s failing as I have his strengths. For you this is personal. You must be right to validate yourself, and you will be ecstatic if Gase fails and gets fired. Your ego, and not the Fins, desire to have fun… or even having cordial conversation, is your modus operandi. If you are wrong, you’ll crawl off, or move on to the next insult or topic to find your value. I’ll still be writing, I’ll admit where I’m wrong and move on… and I’ll be disappointed in my beloved Fins are in a hole. Given you prolonged behavior over years now, and the likely psychological makeup associated with it, all I can say what a waste. Troll is as a troll does… go get a hug and move on.
      “Even Gase admits he doesn’t know what’s wrong so nobody here will either….xept me of course.”

      This statement says it all… ME,ME,ME. I have a three year old who does the same. 🙂

      • Phinfreak

        When one exceeds their intellectual capacity to support their argument they resort to personal insults.

        It’s too bad this happens by the writer here.

        Fact is anybody can point to an observation after the fact but few here who are not intoxicated by blind irrational exhuberance who call things for what they are.

        The fins problem are many and include the HC but the place to fix it is at the top – with the ownership and GM.

        No competent HC, no QB = a piss poor franchise and perineal loser wallowing in mediocrity.

        Go suck your Kool aid.

        • admin

          You like punching bags… every reader knows who you are. Sorry, I only get punched so much before I respond. Please, stop your fantasy. No one is buying but you.

        • Dunner

          First off Freak, remember, Miami is on their second string QB. Remember???? How many teams are struggling with their second string QB in???? Let me tell you, ALL OF THEM. So that means Mike McCarthy, Bruce Airans, Kyle Shanahan, Chuck Pagano all stink just as Adam Gase does? Correct? Or is it just Gase?

          Miami is 4-3, no matter how they got there, no matter who they beat, no matter who beat them, they are still 4-3 with 9 games to play. So all is not lost, and I don’t see a coach with a winning record on a “hot seat”, only your “hot seat”, whatever thats worth? Yes Gase has me second guessing his play calls, his personal choices, and maybe even his position as the offensive coordinator. But it doesn’t mean I believe his job is in jeopardy after 7 games with a winning record under all the circumstances this team has endured.

          However Freak, you have done your job, you were thought of after that debacle, and what biased post your going to have this time? When they win though the thought of a Freak post doesn’t exist because you only chime in when they lose or come back and win in the final minutes when it looked as though they were going to lose.

          This weeks game will pretty much dictate how this season will go, imo. They have the extra time off to rest, regroup and adjust. Sunday night will be my determining factor, for whatever thats worth?

          • phinfreak

            What ails the fins goes way beyond the QB position, it includes everyone on that roster including the entire coaching staff but mainly the HC.

            See Rams. See Eagles. Even the Jaguars are 4-3.

            Kool Aid. Just put it down.

  • steve

    Well is a deep subject I know.

    Coach Gase is the leader and the buck stops with him! Winning is like putting together a puzzle. I still believe that Coach Gase is and will be the right coach for the Miami Dolphins are to say we are stuck with him.

    Coach Gase has to be able to inspire these Dolphins to achieved their Goals for this season and that is to win!
    A strategy and proven by the “BEST” is the Dolphins must practice harder than their opponents a trait of the dolphins players of the the perfect season. The Dolphins must demand the best out of each player on the team.

    Because if you are I don’t performed to standards at work we will be unemployed and the Dolphin Players or no exception.

    Leadership is critical to every organization. Players need someone to look to, learn from and thrive with.

    • admin

      “Winning is like putting together a puzzle.” Great line.

      Agree, I think this week is all about Gase. He has enough pieces if put together right to go at least 1-1 over the next two weeks and keep the season. He has time and a home game and a team that will be a little rested. At the very least this must be a very close loss or things could unravel. I think the talent level and staff acumen is enough to get it done. Some of these top players sandbagging it need to get a wake up call. I’m afraid though that Landry might be one of these players. It would have too be either Ajayi, Stills or Landry with Williams, Drake as back ups that aren’t getting it done and jacking it. Although, I’m very curious to Tunsil’s off play.

      I to believe in Gase and must force myself to remember he is a first time HC calling plays who started with a weak squad and has dealt with a load of ridiculous issue in a short span of time. But, again these next two weeks will build his legacy or put it on stasis for re evaluation till next year.

  • Jackson

    Who wrote this crap?

    Case is the best coach the fins are gonna see for a long time, so get off his back. He cares about the team and winning, and wants his players to do the same. He wants players who can play. There must be something going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about, maybe it is just a bunch of millionaires who don’t work hard enough on offense? I am sure Gase doesn’t want to keep calling short run plays up the middle.

    And stop it with Moore over Cutler. It doesn’t really matter. Moore is a good backup that can step in and surprise a team. But he is pretty much a one or two trick pony, which spells disaster with a poor o-line. Cutler is a slow thinker with broken ribs. Either is serviceable option if the team plays as a TEAM.

    Go phins!

    • admin

      Jackson, I think you’re taking critique of Gase, and the reality that the buck stops with him, as wholesale judgment, and that the judgement on him isn’t good. I get it you are very passionate about Gase. I’m a huge fan as well and have supported him since his start and have believed Miami would get things right this season when few did. But to completely absolve him of any responsibility given he is HC, play caller, and has final say on personnel is also unfair. He is a young coach and still needs to grow. These next two week are critical for him and given his history of rebounding, I expect good results. That’s why the title is “It’s In Gase We Trust Or Bust Time… Again!”

      “Gase is the best coach the fins are gonna see for a long time,” I said the very same thing last article.

      The article essentially states Gase can get this team back on track and is a quality coach. But he does need to adjust and players need to play better.

      I said the very same thing in a recent article. “Adam Gase is as good or better (depending on your level of doubt) than any coach since Don Shula”

      “There must be something going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about, maybe it is just a bunch of millionaires who don’t work hard enough on offense? ”

      I mention all of that in this article.

      “Unfortunately, some of the aspects that must change aren’t within Gase’s power to fix. Some of these crucial aspects must come from a few key players making the decision to be professionals and make the plays they are paid handsomely to make.”

      I find it ironic that I take quite a lot of heat on this blog for my support of Gase, Jackson, but I’m getting chewed out for not being a Gase supporter. I think you have the wrong take on my stance, but I get it, and your passion is appreciated.

      • Jackson

        Points taken admin (MJ?)–I retract my crap comment.

        Context is everything, so thanks for taking time to explain your stance and sending a link. Our opinions are very much aligned. Obviously some fixes have to be made, and fast–as no fan should be subjected to the mess the phins have been delivering on most Sundays.

        Now that the burn of Thursday night is lessening (dangerous to watch and write), I think I will just underscore that I think use of the word “bust” the word “hotseat” this season is premature. Please add my name to list of fans that don’t give you any heat for supporting Gase.


        P.s. —

        • admin

          “I think I will just underscore that I think use of the word “bust” the word “hotseat” this season is premature. Please add my name to list of fans that don’t give you any heat for supporting Gase.”

          I to do agree, but the I (M.J.) and Jimmy love those who comment on the boards (even Freak)and we respond to them, because they take the time to contribute to the conversation… and that’s what this site is about and what got me on board to start with. Some of our most vocal readers feel that way (hotseat)… and to be fair many fans do to. I scream during the game (like you wouldn’t believe), but afterwards I try to take an even keeled approach… last year against the Steelers taught me that and I have held fast to that lesson, Jackson. Doesn’t mean I (or you) are right, but that’s the approach I’ve taken because of Gase’s history. The next 2 weeks will reaffirm that mindset or dispel much of it, in my opinion.

          Thanks for taking the time to reply… I can take criticism pretty well, but it actually hurts when I get taken the wrong way or don’t write well enough to express my thoughts properly. Thanks. Sometimes,
          really do prefer to just editing Jimmy’s stuff…